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Joking about epidemiologists



It’s summer.  Exams are over. The sun is shining. Time for a laugh. Here are some jokes about epidemiologists[1]. The last joke is one of my favourites which I heard many years ago and which I told to a Spanish audience of nutritional epidemiologists (University of Navarra)



Þ   Did you hear about the statistician who had his head in an oven and his feet in a bucket of ice? When asked how he felt, he replied, "On the average I feel just fine.

Þ   When she told me I was average, she was just being mean.

Þ   What did the Box Plot say to the outlier? "Don't you dare get close to my whisker”.

Þ   I'm not an outlier; I just haven't found my distribution yet.

Þ   Two unbiased estimators were sitting in a bar. The first says, "So how do you like married life?" The other replies, "It's pretty good if you don't mind giving up that one degree of freedom!"

Þ   A statistician's wife had twins. He was delighted. He rang the minister who was also delighted. "Bring them to church on Sunday and we'll baptize them," said the minister. "No," replied the statistician. "Baptize one. We'll keep the other as a control."

Þ   What does a statistician call it when the heads of 10 rats are cut off and 1 survives? Nonsignificant.

Þ   There is a group of five statisticians on a train. At the next stop, five epidemiologists get on. They all seemed to know each other and started chatting. It transpired that each of the epidemiologists had bought a ticket, but the statisticians had only bought one between the five of them. "Why did you do that?" asks one of the epidemiologists. "Surely you're going to get caught and be asked to leave the train". "Just wait and see!", smiled one of the statisticians. As the ticket inspector was approaching to check everyone's tickets, the statisticians went off to the nearest toilet -the inspector passes the epidemiologists and inspects all their tickets then moves on and notices that the toilet is locked. "Tickets please!" shouts the inspector. One of the statisticians pushes their ticket under the toilet door, which the inspector checks and returns under the door. Once the inspector has gone, all the statisticians return to their seats to the awe and amazement of the epidemiologists. "That's incredibly clever!" says one of the epidemiologists. A few weeks later they all find themselves on the same train again. They sit together and start chatting once more. "We've done what you suggested", says one of the epidemiologists, "and just bought one ticket between the five of us!". "Oh really", says one of the statisticians, "we haven't bought ANY tickets this time!". The epidemiologists look at each other in amazement. "OK, one ticket between you is fine but not buying any at all is ludicrous! " As the ticket inspector approaches the epidemiologists hurry off to the toilet. Once they're inside the statisticians follow them. "Tickets please! " shouts one of the statisticians. The ticket appears under the door and they take it away and all bundle into a different toilet. The inspector gets to the toilet with the epidemiologists in it. "Tickets please!" he shouts. No reply. "Tickets please!". The epidemiologists admit defeat and come out of the toilet only to be thrown off at the next station. The moral of this story: Epidemiologists should not attempt to use statistical methods they do not fully understand.



[1] I acknowledge http://www.maths.usyd.edu.au/u/jchan/Statistic_joke.pdf (Maths @ University of Sydney: I got my PhD at Sydney University Vet School 1976 ~ ancient)for the source of these jokes.



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